Hednesford Town, sensationally back in with a real chance of sneaking into the play-offs following victory against local rivals Chasetown on Monday afternoon, face Northwich Victoria on Friday night at Leek Town in their final and biggest away game of the season.
The fixture, re-arranged due to Northwich’s inability to find a temporary landlord who would allow them to schedule this game on a Saturday afternoon, gives The Pitmen a chance to heap pressure on faltering FC United of Manchester who play 20 hours later against Matlock Town.
The match will be a very difficult test for Rob Smith’s side, despite their financial problems Northwich have won four out of the last six and are currently four points clear of Chorley in second place. The Vic’s last game was a Bank Holiday meeting with Chester who scored a late equaliser to secure the Evo Stik Northern Premier Division title in front of a record crowd of over five-thousand.
Rob Smith was keen to preach caution about the timing of the game but couldn’t help praise his team for reacting against Chasetown after his recent criticism of their performance.
‘I thought they showed real passion and commitment against Chasetown. I criticised them before the game and they answered me with the performance.
We couldn’t really ask for harder game to play than Northwich away though, and it is obviously at a difficult time of the week as well.’
The Pitmen trained on Wednesday night and will have assessed the fitness of in-form Chris Clements (Hamstring) and goal-scorer against Chasetown Nick Wellecomme (Heel). Mark Beesley will return from suspension to add attacking options to Smith’s squad and Hednesford will give Jermaine Johnson ample opportunity to recover from his recent injury.
The last meeting between the two sides came in March at Keys Park when a solid performance and 2-0 victory for the away team gave manager Martin Foyle his second win at the beginning of his new tenure as boss of The Vics.
Depending on the result on Friday night all Hednesford supporters will no doubt be following FC United v Matlock very closely on Saturday afternoon. A positive outcome, first and foremost, is vital for Hednesford to give themselves a fighting chance with two home games against mid-table opposition remaining in a season which, typically for The Pitmen, has been a rollercoaster ride throughout.
Pitmen Form – LWLDLW
Previous Result – Chasetown 1 Hednesford Town 2 – Monday 9th April
Next Fixture – North Ferriby United (H) Tue 17th April 7.45pm KO
League Position – 6th
Northwich Victoria Form – WLWWWD
Previous Result – Chester FC 1 Northwich Victoria 1 – Monday 9th April
Next Fixture – Bradford Park Avenue (H) – Tuesday 17th April
League Position – 2nd
KO – 7.45pm
Address of Ground – Harrison Park, Macclesfield Road, Leek, Staffordshire, England, ST13 8LD
Travel Club Coach Departure Time – 5.45pm